While ethical issues have always been a fundamental consideration in healthcare, the unprecedented surge of restructuring involving partnerships, has crystallized its relevance. For denominational hospitals, Catholic hospitals in particular, it raises questions intrinsic to the nature and mission of the organizations themselves. I was fascinated by the opening sentence of a recent commentary in Linacre Quarterly (May 1996), the official journal of the National Federation of Catholic Physicians' Guilds, in which The Reverend Russell E. Smith, S.T.D., stated that "In the past three years, one of the most common consultation requests submitted to the Pope John Centre has been for assistance in the ethical assessment of proposed hospital partnerships between Catholic and non-Catholic providers." The topic of Reverend Smith's commentary was "Ethical Quandary - Forming Hospital Partnerships."
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